Business / Corporate

With new Kinto firm, Toyota gears up for more leasing as car ownership in Japan goes into reverse

Kyodo

Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday it has set up a new company with a Sumitomo Corp. affiliate to launch auto-leasing services to individual customers, in response to consumers who are shifting away from owning cars.

The new company, Kinto Co., is capitalized at ¥1.8 billion. The automaker’s wholly owned unit, Toyota Financial Services Co., holds a 66.6 percent stake of Kinto, with the rest being held by Sumitomo Mitsui Auto Service Co.

Starting this week, it will offer customers in Japan the chance to drive one Toyota-brand vehicle for three years for ¥46,100 to ¥99,000 per month, excluding tax, or to drive up to six Lexus-brand vehicles over the same period for ¥180,000 a month.

The Lexus service will start Wednesday and the Toyota option on March 1. The services will initially be available in the Tokyo metropolitan area. They will be expanded nationwide this summer.

Monthly fees will include insurance, vehicle tax, registration charges and regular maintenance fees, Toyota said.